The Straits Times says

For a change: Positive signals on trade

Soon after US President Donald Trump labelled the European Union (EU) and China as "foes" on trade last week, the "foes" held a bilateral summit of their own, where they reaffirmed their support for rules-based trade and made progress on an investment agreement. Then on July 17, the EU signed a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Japan - the biggest trade deal either party has ever negotiated and which is expected to come into force next year.

These events are significant, not only for their own sake but because they come at a time when the global trade system is under assault from unilaterally-driven protectionist policies, which threaten to escalate into a trade war.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2018, with the headline 'For a change: Positive signals on trade'. Print Edition | Subscribe